News reports revealing the connivance of some politicians within the government, along with the police and the timber mafia to make off with precious timber that had been uprooted by the floods, worth billions of rupees, shows the degree of corruption our rulers have sunk to. The fact that some of the culprits belong to our mainstream political parties is highly deplorable since hardly anyone would have expected them to indulge in such wayward behaviour at this particular juncture. These reports point out that the timber mafia, hand in glove with members of the ruling set-up, has sprung into action stealing the uprooted timber and smuggling it into various parts of the country. It is outrageous to know that the authorities didnt even bother to find out how much forest cover had been depleted. Besides, how influential the timber mafia really is can be gauged from the fact that Tarbela lake was sealed off for four days for the purpose of picking up the timber transported by the floodwater. The lake is of course a sensitive installation and the fact that the mafia got hold of it is extremely alarming. The stolen timber, which is worth billions of rupees, could have come in handy especially in generating funds for relief and rescue operations. Ever since the ruling dispensation has taken over the helm of state affairs, hardly a day has gone by without some financial scandal hitting the headlines providing grist to the mill of those who have been pointing a finger of accusation at the PPP-led dispensation for being corrupt. Despite calls from several quarters, the pity is that even the independent commission comprising men of impeccable character honestly disbursing the aid for revival of life in the flood-hit areas could not be formed. Does it not show what the rulers are really up to? One wonders how rotten our so-called leaders could be when they have not even spared the nation in its hour of trial. No one could imagine that those entrusted with the responsibility of manoeuvring the country out of the abyss would themselves go on a looting spree when the entire country happens to be in the eye of the storm. Timber mafia in the country has been active for ages, but it must also be stressed that such predatory elements in the society would not have reared their heads, had the ruling circles governing our fate not given them the licence to plunder. Under the circumstances, it is of utmost importance that a thorough probe be conducted and the culprits, however strong and influential, were brought to book.